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Smart Tips for Quitting Your Job

image for AndreyPopov / Getty Images
AndreyPopov / Getty Images
  • While there are a few ways to quit a job, you should do it in a way that will not burn bridges and that will ensure a smooth transition for both you and your employer.
  • Communication is very important when you are quitting a job.
  • As you leave a job, be sure you are prepared to give feedback regarding your experience and why you are leaving. 

Quitting a job is never easy; it can be nerve-racking to walk into your boss's office to deliver the news. While it won't take the nerves away, following some tips will help to ensure you've done everything you could to leave your current position the right way.

Business News Daily asked experts for their advice on how to leave a company without burning bridges.

Here are some tips for leaving a job on good terms.

Taking a look back at the job you are leaving and accounting for all of the pros and cons can help you make better decisions moving forward. Look at every job as a learning experience or a stepping-stone to the next opportunity.

If you don't have another job lined up before you quit your current one, make sure you have enough savings to get you through a few months of living expenses in case the next job opportunity doesn't come along right away. Even if you do have something lined up, it may take some time for your first paycheck and/or benefits to kick in, so having some extra savings as a safety net is a good idea.

Upon exit from your current job, make sure that you haven't signed any documents that may prevent you from working from another employer of your choice in the future. The last thing you'd want after quitting a job is to get into a legal battle over a noncompete clause you forgot you signed at a previous job.

A good way to ensure that you're leaving a job on positive terms is to give as much notice as possible. The standard is two weeks, but you can give more than that. For instance, if you know you want to leave in two months, give that much notice. This way, you can help to find and train your replacement and leave a good impression on your former employer.

Word travels fast. If you start telling your co-workers and work friends that you're leaving your job, the news may get to your boss before you're ready to make the announcement. This news should come directly from you to prevent any hard feelings upon your exit, especially if you have a close relationship with your boss.

Your boss may ask why you're leaving, and it's perfectly acceptable to tell them it's for better pay, better benefits or a better career opportunity in general. While it's OK to voice concerns about your current position, stay away from criticizing the company when giving your notice. If you can't frame it in a neutral, diplomatic way, it's best not to get into the specifics. And remember, you are not obligated to tell your boss where you're going unless it violates a noncompete clause.

Even if you're unhappy with your current employer, you must have enjoyed some part of your position. When you write your formal resignation letter – which many employers require for HR documentation – try to express some of these positive sentiments. It will show that you are leaving in good faith and keeping doors open for the future.

Once you've given your notice, it's important to do your job to the best of your ability until you officially leave the company. You want to leave this position knowing that you worked hard right up until the end, and that usually doesn't go unnoticed.

While you obviously have a right to take the items you brought with you, do not assume that anything that was given to you during your time at the company is yours to keep. For example, that coffee mug could easily be put in the office kitchen to be used for others. Are you really going to want your company mouse pad later? You likely will not have a use for it later, so do not take it now.

Likewise, leave behind stationary, office supplies, apparel and other miscellaneous company merchandise. When in doubt, do not take it. If your name is permanently plastered on the item, you can have it. Otherwise, do not take everything in sight as you are preparing to walk out the door.

Many people view exit interviews as awkward and uncomfortable. However, this is your opportunity to talk about your time in your position. If the exit interview did not benefit the company, chances are that it would not be necessary. Discuss the ways your experience helped to prepare you for your next career move. Also bring up the ways the company could improve or how current processes could change.

Regardless of whether your time at the company was positive, come prepared with questions and feedback for your manager and human resources representatives. Ideally, your perspective will result in improvements to the company.